Elton John to boycott Brunei-owned hotels over gay stoning law

Elton John to boycott Brunei-owned hotels over gay stoning law
Elton John and his partner will boycott hotels owned by the Sultanate of Brunei, joining George Clooney in protesting the sultanate's death penalty for gay sex and adultery.
2 min read
01 April, 2019
Elton John is an award-winning English artists [Getty]
Elton John and his husband have said they will boycott hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei, following changes to make the sultanate's interpretation of Islamic law even stricter, with stoning to death for adultery and gay sex.

"I believe that love is love and being able to love as we choose is a basic human right. Wherever we go, my husband David and I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect - as do each and every one of the millions of LGBTQ+ people around the world," the Grammy Award winning artist tweeted Saturday.

He praised George Clooney, who similarly called for a boycott of nine Brunei-owned hotels over the sultanate's imposition of the death penalty for gay sex and adultery.

"Every single time we stay at or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels, we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery," Clooney wrote on the website Deadline Hollywood.

Elton John listed the nine hotels included in the boycott, located in various cities including London, Los Angeles, Paris and Rome.

"We must send a message, however we can, that such treatment is unacceptable," he wrote, "We hope you will join us in solidarity".

Homosexuality is already illegal in Brunei but it will now become a capital offence, although the law only applies to Muslims. Brunei is an absolute monarchy which has been ruled for 51 years by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. The small nation - surrounded by Malaysia - will implement a harsh new penal code, which also prescribes amputation of a hand and foot for theft.

Brunei first announced the measures in 2013, but implementation has been delayed as officials worked out the practical details, and in the face of opposition by rights groups.

The sultan, who has reigned since 1967, has previously said the Shariah Penal Code should be regarded as a form of "special guidance" from God and would be "part of the great history" of Brunei.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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